Sunday, April 22, 2012


Home in Port Charlotte
morning low of 62, high of 82
brief passing showers

Weekend #6 of irrigation install was a milestone. The backflow preventer was installed and the mainline was charged with water.  No leaks.  I tested a few valves to bleed air from the system.  No leaks.  I completely finished turf zone 1 and 8, backfilled the trenches and ran sprinklers for the first time.  No leaks.  I spent much of the day working in light showers.

Islamorada, in the Keys, received over 7" of rain yesterday.  Much of the Everglades were a downpour zone, as were the areas north of Tampa.  We in Port Charlotte were under tornado watch after midnight but none formed.  The culprit of all of this excitement was a tropical cold front that came up from the Caribbean and clashed with warm Gulf air and water.  We awoke to a chilly morning but it quickly gave way to 80 degree temps.

I'm headed back into the yard to install more sprinkler heads, do wet checks and bury lines.
This coming week I will be headed to Palm Beach County and Fort Piece, returning home Thursday night to watch the NFL draft.

My neighbor and fellow Cardinals football fan, Chuck, was involved in a terrible accident 2 weeks ago.  He drives an 18 wheeler for one of the big grocery chains.  He was driving in Fort Myers at 3:00 AM on a Saturday morning when a Mustang full of teenagers blew a stop sign at high speed and T-boned the tandem axle of Chuck's rig.  The 19 year old girl driving was killed instantly and the others were hospitalized with serious injuries.  Chuck was lucky.  A second's difference would have put them into his fuel tank and created a bomb.

Keep a good thought for my buddy.  He's doing good but an experience like that would rattle anyone.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


66* at wake up in the Hampton Inn, JFK Int'l, NY.

My trip here was tough.  I arrived at the Fort Myers airport at 11:30 for a 1:10 departure.  We got delayed to 1:20, then 2:00, then 2:20.  They finally announced that the plane we were to use had broken a part of it's landing gear when it touched down in Ft. Myers.  By 4:30 they cancelled us outright.  I was able to grab the last seat on a 7:35 departure and I got to my hotel after 11:00.  Up at 5 AM.

Headed to a newly assigned golf course on Long Island to do a safety assessment of the grounds and staff.  Two conference calls today. Driving into East Hanover, NJ later tonight to assess a new construction site tomorrow. My body is sore as hell from working weekends at home and living this life up in the air.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Ready to head for JFK Airport, NY
64 in Port Charlotte, 60 in NYC

It's been 35 days in a row that I've either been on the road working or in the yard working.
I can see light at the end of the tunnel and that's encouraging.
I really miss fishing and the weather has been excellent in SW Florida.
The good news about the weather is that it makes for pleasant working conditions in the yard.
I will really be glad to have done this now, when the summer humidity hits.
I'm likely better than 80% finished and anticipate the wet tests coming by the end of April.

As for my real job, last week I was in Puerto Rico.  This week, NY/NJ.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Home in Port Charlotte
High of 87

I arrived home around midnight, Friday night, after my week in Virginia.  I was up to see Kathy off to work on Saturday at 630AM and ready to continue working on the irrigation system installation.  At 8AM, much to my delighted surprise, Subaru Jim showed up ready to work as well.  By 9 we were joined by Jerry, our other fishing buddy.

In six hours we three amigos finished the mainline, installed 9 valves and completed about 30% more of the project in just that day alone.  As they tell the story, their wives read the blog and sent the guys to help get me back to fishing.  Believe me, it was so very much appreciated.

Sunday I was back in the yard, laying more pipe.  I get about 10% done per day alone.  As near as I can tell, the project is about 70% complete.  Three sides of the house need only have the electrical run from the valves to the clock and then have the actual sprinkler heads installed.  The remaining side still needs to be dug out by hand, as there are many underground obstacles.  A previous owner of Rolando's house, next door, installed one of their lines in my yard.  I have a water line going through there on its way down to the boat dock.  I have 110 volt electrical that powers the dock lighting.  All of this was hit by the power trencher I used two weeks ago, so I decided it would be better to use just a shovel to cut down on additional repairs.

The project is back on hold until next Saturday, as I have to work my real job during the week.  I'm in the office doing reports today; working locally in Fort Myers on Tuesday; flying from Tamp to Puerto Rico on Wednesday and returning home again on Friday night.

Monday, April 2, 2012


Newport News, VA
High of 60, low of 38

I can't believe it's been since March 11 that I posted a blog.  In that time I have been to Boston, Philly, NJ, NY, AZ, CA, back to AZ and back to FL.  And none of that time has been spent fishing.

Work has consumed my weeks, home projects my weekends.

I'm presently writing this from the Applebees Restaurant in Newport News, VA.  I will work Williamsburg on Tuesday, Fredericksburg on Wednesday, Chantilly on Thursday and Friday, with a late night Friday flight home from Baltimore.

At home I've been installing a lawn irrigation system and it's slow going, working alone.  My brother helped me draft a diagram plan for the 8 zones and the labor has been up to me.  I'm about 30% done, having trenched out as much as I could with a rented trencher.  However, that machine only digs down to 12" and the areas within 9' of my street have to be 18" deep   That means a lot of hand digging.  Then we had some rainfall, which eroded some my trenches and I had to dig them out again.  Mental note:  Do not chose "ditch digger" as occupation in the next life.

I tore up our phone/internet lines in the front yard, despite calling blue stake and having the utilities marked.  I could have never imagined the cable company installing their lines just 3" below the surface.  They came out today and did the repairs for free.

In the back yard I broke then found my next door neighbor's irrigation line, which was surprisingly installed on my property.  I also tore up my high voltage line that provided power to my dock.  Luckily, a neighbor named Steve is an electrician and he did the repairs (3 spots) for free.  After all of that damage, I returned the trencher to Home Depot and left about 20% of the yard to dig by hand.

If all of that damage sounds excessive, it's really not.  When you do a major installation at an existing homesite, you're gonna hit stuff.

Much to my dismay, I was invited to go fishing with Jim and Jerry on Al's boat yesterday but I declined.
I have to get this project done before the real heat/humidity return to SWFL.

I will continue working this project for as many weekends as it takes until it is done.  Meanwhile, the boat sits in the driveway.  It's been 23 days since my last fishing trip.  Where DOES the time go?